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Pembrokeshire Farmers Told Markets Matter

27 October 2009

UK - A well functioning market place is what really matters to livestock farmers in Wales, Ed Rees, NFU Cymru Livestock Board Chairman, told Pembrokeshire farmers at a recent meeting held in Haverfordwest.

Mr Rees posed the question, “When will the market place respond to the steady fall in total numbers of sheep and cattle being kept in Wales as a consequence of the reforms of the Common Agriculture Policy introduced earlier this decade.”

He added, “The decline in both sheep and cow numbers is not exclusive to Wales alone and is evident in the rest of the UK and also throughout the European Union, which has seen a reduction of 5 per cent in the sheep breeding flock and a reduction of 4.5 per cent in the breeding cow herd. "

He said that the continuing trend of tightening supply of red meat in Wales and the UK, coupled with the continuing weakness of the pound, should help sustain export demand and this should be reflected in an increase in the farm gate price for beef and lamb producers in Wales.

Mr Rees expressed his optimism about the prospects for lamb and beef prices in the short term if these prevailing market conditions continue, particularly in the run up to Christmas, which traditionally sees increased demand both domestically and for export markets.

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